Solidarity Day Action Dispersed in Salihorsk
This time the Solidarity Action was to begin with the march of Freedom. About 80 people (mainly youth) gathered at 7.40 p.m. near the main market. They were going to march through the city to the Central Square holding candles and portraits of the disappeared politicians and political prisoners. At the Square they planned to hold actions traditional for the Solidarity Day. However, there were about a dozen police officers waiting near the market. About 30 more policemen were at the Square. The police had a big MAZ bus ready for the detained. In the very beginning the policemen tried to detain a youth leader, 15-year-old Ivan Shyla. However, his friends formed a chain around him and did not let the police to detain him. All of a sudden the policemen began to grab other action participants, but young people resisted forming more and more chains. The scene turned into a chaos: screaming and shouting was heard everywhere. One girl had her jacket and purse ripped. Passers-by were outraged. One woman began to cry: “Tomorrow you will beat my son the same way”. People sitting in nearby cafes began to come out to see what was happening.
Meanwhile the young people began to light their candles. The police called for help and the bus for detentions. The policemen knocked out candles from people’s hands immediately after they had been lighted. In fact, they gave the same treatment to cameras. A new group of policemen headed by a colonel arrived. They began to push the action participants away from the square. Parents of Ivan Shyla arrived. The policemen tried to detain them together with their sons. However, the Shylas and Dzianis Karnou fell on the ground. Aliaksei Valabuyeu tried to take pictures of that. The policemen saw that, seized the camera, frogmarched him into the police car, and took him to the police station. The Shyla family, Dzianis Karnou and a girl named Alina were thrown into the police bus. The rest of the crowd was dispersed. The police officers tried to threaten the detained (with 15 days of jail, problems at work and in school, etc.). However, after personal identification of the detained, they all were released.
While in the police station, the detained had a very interesting conversation with police officers. The detained tried to talk about the future and dignity, mentioning the fact that the regime would not exist forever. Traditionally the policemen answer that any state power needs police. However, this time one police officer gave a more substantial answer. He said police would exist both with communists and with fascists in power.